Monday, December 31, 2012

Contract Offer and New Years Resolutions

Dear Readers,

What a year this has been! I can scarcely believe it's already come to an end, yet so much has happened.

The best news is that I received a contract offer for publication from Samhain Publishing just after Thanksgiving for the first book in my series The League of Rogues. You can expect to find your own copy of Book 1 of the series titled Godric sometime in January 2014 if all goes well.

I am simply over the moon with excitement to be joining the Samhain team of authors. I have a fantastic editor who loves the series and characters and I can't wait to see what we'll do with the remaining books. If we're lucky, books 2 and 3 of the series will also come out in 2014! As information becomes available I will be sure to post it on my blog and facebook author page.

In other news, my previous literary agent has left the business and now I'm represented by a fantastic agent, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg from the Larsen Pomada Agency. She's absolutely amazing and has recently negotiated my contract with Samhain (we're merely awaiting final paperwork). I am thrilled to be her client and am so excited to work with her on getting new projects out there!

As the year 2012 comes to a close, I have to sit back and be thankful for everything that I have been blessed with this year. I've made some amazing new writing friends and grown closer to older ones. I've been honing my craft and taking workshops to keep improving and working hard at my day job. Needless to say it's been a busy year but I am proud with the results.

My goals for the coming year involve putting out my Romantic Suspense novel on submission, sending a Christmas novella to Carina Press for their 2013 Christmas novella collection and crossing my fingers they'll like it, as well as working on the next two books in my League series. It will be a fun year ahead of me with a brave new world of publishing and writing. I can't wait to dive in and get started!

I'd love to hear from my followers. What have you accomplished this past year? What are your goals for the coming year?  Are you working on something new and exciting? Post an excerpt for the rest of us to read!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing!!

Hey Readers!

A friend tagged me a post to provide some info on my latest WIP. Here goes and I hope you enjoy!

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
Q: What is your working title of your book?
A: The Gilded Cuff

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: I woke from a dream about a pair of young boys trapped and held kidnapped in a crumbling mansion on Long Island and knew I had to share their story.

Q: What genre does your book fall under?
A: Romantic Suspense with a little bit of BDSM.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A: Heroine- Sophie Ryder played by Jennifer Lawrence, Hero- Emery Lockwood played by Stephen Amnell.

Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A: Haunted by his childhood kidnapping that stole his twin brother’s life, Emery Lockwood is a tortured man and he can’t resist bargaining with the determined reporter Sophie Ryder who wants to know all his secrets, except it might just end up getting them killed.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: Represented by my awesome and lovely agent Pam from the Larsen Pomada Agency

Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: LOL- still working on it. Nearly done. Was a little busy getting my first book contract for a regency series underway and am just now getting back to finishing this novel.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: Well, it’s not your typical Romantic Suspense. My hero is not a detective or a PI. He’s a wealthy recluse who is trying to avoid the spotlight and the heroine wants to unearth his secrets for her story. It has some flavor of E.L. James’s Fifty Shade series and some of Shayla Black’s erotic romance Wicked series.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A: I can’t normally pinpoint who or what inspires my stories. They are usually the result of something I’ve dreamed or some image I’ve seen and can’t get out of my head. I always start with a vision of a scene as the start of my story and go from there.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A: I think the Gilded Cuff will attract readers for a few reasons. It’s not your average romantic suspense. The setting is its own character and the story is highly character driven for the hero and heroine.

Feel free to post a thought about my new WIP or about your own WIP. What's your NEXT BIG THING? 

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Days of Christmas- My Regency Short Story Free

Hey Readers!

I'm happy to announce I'm participating in my local RWA's chapter of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Each day one author from our chapter will be posting a short story. All of the stories take place at the same ball on Christmas Day at Pemberton Hall in England in 1814. 

I wrote the second story "Two Turtle Doves."  

When Nathan, the Duke of Hastings, discovers that his long lost love, Theodosia Swann is attending the ball at Pemberton, he can't believe his luck. After breaking off their love affair ten years before when his father hadn't approved of the match, Nathan has regretted letting his one great love get away.

Now, with snow on the ground, mistletoe hanging above doorways, and Christmas magic in the air, Nathan hopes to find Thia and make her fall in love with him all over again. 

Will he find a way to make her forgive him for breaking her heart and will she still love him?  Come by and see!

Here's a brief teaser of Two Turtle Doves:

His mouth dried, and he struggled to swallow past the lump in his throat. His body froze at the sight of her, stiff and taut with indecision. Should he go to her? What would she want? Would she be happy to see him? Perhaps she hated him? Or had she dreamt of him every night, as she lay alone in her bed, as he did her?
 Lady Theodosia Swann stood out in the midst of her six younger sisters like a northern star in the winter skies, shimmering, glittering, all alone in the dark expanse of the inky universe. Yet, she was none the weaker for it. She was brighter, more enchanting.
Thia. My Thia.
As tiny as she was—he towered over her by a head and a half—she captured his full attention. He was enraptured by her as he watched her whisper something to one of her sisters. Her amber hair caught the light of the candles nearest her, a beacon shining for him. Her eyes, jade pools frosted with silver, glanced about the room, unaware of the steady heat of his own gaze.
Nathan sucked in a harsh breath as his body stirred to life with a level of arousal he’d thought he’d never feel again. Ten years had wrought great changes in her. In them both. The lithe-bodied girl of nineteen he’d swept across ballrooms in her first season was gone. In her place was a woman infinitely more alluring, with luscious curves his hands itched to shape, and pale pink lips he longed to explore with his own. Were they as soft as he remembered?
She smoothed her hands over her dark green gown and tugged at the puffed sleeves trimmed with lace. Her full breasts were accented by a square cut neckline and a bodice embroidered with holly leaves. When she shifted, he caught a glimpse of the shape of her legs as the silk, drawn up in festoons with more holly leaves, rustled and clung to her. Most men preferred younger women, barely out of their first Season, but Nathan couldn’t think of anything more lovely, more sensual, than a full-grown woman, who had a body worth holding, worth making love to endlessly into the night.
Her gaze swept the room and his gut clenched a second before her eyes hit him with the force of a physical blow. He swallowed hard as he watched as her cheeks turned from pink to ash. The look on her face robbed him of breath. Sadness haunted her, and he hated seeing it, seeing her so wounded. She looked as destroyed on the outside at seeing him, as he was on the inside since the day he’d broken both their hearts.
His heart cried out for her. Things are different now. I’m not the fool I once was, and I’m not under my father’s control.
       Thia stared at him for a moment longer, and then turned and moved swiftly away, running from him. He had to speak to her, apologize for everything he’d done to ruin their happiness ten years ago. He prayed he wasn’t too late.

Dying to know what happens next?

Go here to read the rest of the story and stayed tuned to the Wild Okies Blog for the rest of the stories!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One, two, three, Mistletoe and Merry!

Happy Holidays Readers!

I know it's early and yes my post title is a rip off Britney Spears's Song "Three." Read on and you'll discover why! *Tee hee.

But first, I have to announce the winner of the 7 Days of Seduction Giveaway.  

Congratulations Melissa Limoges!  You will be provided with your free copy of the wonderful erotic romance by the talented Jenna Jaxon!  Beware, your e-reader is bound to burst into flames!

Now, for something completely different!  I'm trying my hand at writing a threesome story. *GASP! I know, I know. Totally racey and wildly different from most of the things I've written. But I am excited to try it out and see what happens. Thus the post title's reference to Spears's racy song.

My current WIP, currently titled Silent Night, is about Zoey Blake, a young woman, homeless and living on the streets. When she's attacked by a man and wounded in an alley a week before Christmas, she's rescued by a handsome stranger.

Meet Ian, the Irish vampire and rescuer of all things. He's got a soft spot for sweet damsels in distress and he's saved more than a couple of cats (who now reside in his home).

But let's not forget the third person in this story. Connor, Ian's best friend and fellow Vampire. Connor is the last person to be happy when Ian brings Zoey home. A dark secret from his and Ian's past makes Connor unable to trust himself with Zoey, or to ever love again.

But Christmas is the around the corner and some winter magic may yet work its spell over Ian, Zoey and Connor.

Here's a brief excerpt:

Zoey was warm. So warm. When was the last time she hadn’t woken herself up with her own shivers? As weariness bled out of her, leaving only a pleasant sense of quiet, she wondered, almost sadly, if she was dead. There wasn’t any way else to explain the sudden change in her physical surroundings. Forcing her eyelids up, it took her several seconds to adjust. She was lying in a massive and incredibly soft feather down bed with a thick blanket wrapped snuggly around her body. She felt like a human burrito. The thought made her giggle. She had to be dead. This was obviously heaven. The last thing she remembered was…
Pain, agony. The bright lights of the diner, Christmas bells ringing in her ears. And the attack. The flash of the knife, the snarled words of the man who took her life. Her heart pounded at an unsteady rhythm and her breath quickened.
Breath? How was she breathing if she was still alive? And then it came back. The man with the face of an angel, the voice of a sinner who could tempt her to sell her soul for one caress of his gentle hands. Had he saved her? How? Zoey’s hands started to shake as she distinctly remembered blood oozing from the stab wounds on her chest. She was terrified to look, but more scared not to look so she tugged the blanket down and lifted her blood stained shirt up to just beneath her breasts. The skin was clear, except for two tiny pink slashes. Zoey pressed her fingertips down on the marks, testing them carefully. They were a little sore, but it felt like an injury weeks old, not something that would have killed her the night before.
Confused, she looked about the room, hoping to see the man who’d saved her. It was empty, but the room itself distracted her. The bed was huge, bigger than a California king size bed, its frame was a dark wood that looked black. Despite the dimness of the room, she could see the walls had lovely black and white photos of Paris, Italy and a few other places she thought she recognized but couldn’t pinpoint where they were. The crisp contrast of the photos was stunning and made her strangely homesick.
Before her life had fallen apart, she’d been studying photography at a local community college. It had been her dream, to live her life behind the lens, capturing moments for people. Weddings, baby showers, children’s sporting matches. She wanted to capture life in vibrant color and in contrasts of grays. Nothing would have made her happier than to take photos of the events that marked milestones in people’s lives. But that was gone, all gone. Her camera was likely still in some pawnshop collecting dust. Food and rent had been a priority, not her future. How long ago had that been? Zoey didn’t want to count, but she knew it was around eight months ago.
Shrugging off the uncomfortable memories she sat up, pushing her hair out of her eyes. She still couldn’t figure out how she’d come here, wherever here was, or why. Had the handsome man with the accent, Irish, she thought, brought her here? Why? Panic struck her right behind the eyes. Maybe he thought to take advantage of her. She’d heard horror stories of women living on the streets forced into the slave trade. Was that to be her fate? As quick as her fear had risen, it settled back down and faded.
The man who’d helped her had stroked her tenderly, gently, as though he’d treasured her. That was not the actions of a man who would sell her into slavery. Maybe he was like a good Samaritan, a handsome man who stopped to save a complete stranger. She wanted to believe that was the truth. That there were still good people out there. After everything that had happened in the last year, she was afraid to hope. But it was almost Christmas. The holidays always brought the best out in people. There was a piece of her that wanted to believe good still existed.
If only she could stay in this bed forever, wrapped snugly in the blanket, with the peaceful quiet all around her. Too many nights under the underpass had left her nervous and tense while she caught a few hours of sleep. Zoey glanced around the room, checking for a clock, but there wasn’t one. The large window next to the bed was gray through the slatted blinds. It could be evening or early morning, she couldn’t tell.
She jumped when someone knocked at the bedroom door.
“Excuse me, love. Alright if I come in?” The voice. The beautiful, whisky rough voice. Definitely an Irish accent.
“Uh…yes. Come in.”
Her hands curled into the blanket and raised it up to her chin. She felt oddly naked and exposed as the man eased the door open and slid inside. Zoey craned her neck back to look up at the man. He had to be at least six foot three. With black hair long enough to touch the collar of his white button up shirt, and thin layer of night beard, he looked like a pirate off the cover of a romance novel. His shirtsleeves were rolled up revealing muscled forearms and the top couple of buttons were undone below his throat. He swallowed and her eyes locked in on the movement of his muscles working with the action. She was struck again by how incredibly large he was. His shoulders were massive and she had the sudden urge to touch them and feel the strength of the muscles beneath her palm.
“How are you doing?” He strode to the bed and raised a hand to her forehead. His hand was cold, shockingly so and she flinched from the contact. The man’s face paled and he pulled his hand away. “Sorry about that.” His face fell when he seemed to think she didn’t like his touch.
“It’s okay. I didn’t expect it to be cold, that’s all.” Even though she didn’t want to ever be cold again, she’d suffer it just have his hand back on her forehead. The whisper of a secret thrill skated along her skin and she missed having his hand on her.

Stay tuned readers to find out what happens to this threesome!

Feel free to drop by and leave a comment about the holidays, post your own excerpt from a current WIP or favorite holiday excerpt or whatever else suits your fancy! It is Christmas after all, or will be soon! But who's counting? *wink.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

7 Days of Seduction- Guest Author Jenna Jaxon and Book Giveaway!

Hey Readers! 

Today I'm interviewing the lovely and talented author Jenna Jaxon. Her newest book 7 Days of Seduction was recently released and Jenna stopped by to answer some questions. 

Leave a comment below for a chance to win your own free copy of 7 Days of Seduction!

Lauren: Hi Jenna! Welcome to The League of Rogues Blog!

Jenna:  Hi, Lauren!  Thanks so much for having me here with your Rogues!  I’m sure my characters will fit right in. LOL

Lauren: So Jenna, you recently released a wickedly good book called 7 Days of Seduction. Tell me a little about the story.

Jenna:  7 Days is the story of Ashley, who parties a little too hardy one night and ends up having a ménage with her ex-boyfriend and a gorgeous stranger.  He is one hot dude, but she doesn’t know who he is until he turns up unexpectedly--in her shower.  Hunter’s been sort of stalking Ashley because he’s very attracted to her.  He manages to talk her into a week of colorful, seductive dates as he pushes her sexual envelope to the breaking point.

Lauren: What is your favorite thing about your hero Hunter? How does he interact with the heroine Ashley?

Jenna:  My favorite thing about Hunter is his outrageousness.  Outrageous, like turning up in Ashley’s shower when he’s a complete stranger.  And he is relentless with Ashley because he knows what he wants and how to get it and he lets nothing deter him from his goal.  I do like that determined quality in a man. J

Lauren: Jenna, you also write historical romances in addition to contemporary. How do you write sensual and plot tension between the hero and heroines in contemporaries and still make your books sizzle and sparkle (which they do! I know because 7 Days of Seduction nearly set my kindle on fire when I read it!)?

Jenna:  It’s actually easier for me to write love scenes in historical books because I’ve done so much it’s almost second nature to create the slow burn, to use the euphemistic language, to make the characters a bit more inhibited.  I’ve gotten the comment before on a contemporary to “stop writing like it’s one of your historicals.” LOL  I remember that what is forbidden is often the most tantalizing.  So in historicals there’s a lot that’s forbidden--so when you get to see or feel it, it heightens that experience.  With contemporaries I’m often afraid I reduce the encounters down to new positions or gimmicks.  I really had that feeling in 7 Days as Hunter’s trying to seduce Ashley with sex (really), and moving from one colorful position/situation to the next.  I hope I’ve woven enough characterization to make it interesting. J

Lauren: If your heroine has one piece of advice about love, what would it be?

Jenna:  Don’t be afraid to take a chance.  Ashley does that all the way through 7 Days, with fantastic results. LOL

Lauren: You’ve recently released 7 Days of Seduction, what’s next on your book schedule that readers can look forward to?

Jenna:  At present, my next historical, a novella sent in medieval England, called Betrothal, is with my editor and hopefully will be released by the end of November.  It’s the first in a series of three novellas, all together making a larger work, Time Enough to Love.  The other two novellas, Betrayal and Beleaguered, are slated to be released at one month (or 6 week) intervals afterwards.  And I’m also working on revisions of Only Marriage Will Do, the second in the House of Pleasure series, of which Only Scandal Will Do was the first.  I’m hoping to submit that to my editor at Lyrical by the end of November as well.

Blurb for 7 Days of Seduction:
Ashley Thompson had a wild time at her party last Friday night. Maybe too wild. She wakes to find a video of her in the middle of a ménage a trois with her ex-boyfriend and a gorgeous stranger. Unable to remember anything about the night, other than the hot sex she sees on the computer screen, Ashley begins a search for Mr. Hunk. She has no luck until he unexpectedly shows up–in her shower.
Hunter Hopewell intends to introduce Ash to a variety of sexual experiences he finds fun and exciting. He proposes a week long series of “colorful” encounters designed to seduce Ashley out of her kink comfort zone.
As their week of escalating pleasure intensifies, Ashley must choose to let go of her inhibitions or risk losing the best damn lover she’s ever had.
Excerpt for 7 Days of Seduction:

The bathroom door opened and closed. Her hands froze.
"Damn it, Sam. Why is it every time I take a shower you have to pee? Couldn't you just hold it for once? Or pee in a cup, for God's sake?"
"I'm not Sam. And I don't have to pee."
Ashley's eyes popped open and the bottle of body wash hit the tub with a loud thunk. The husky voice she'd heard on yesterday's video and in this morning's dream was richer in person. Sexier. Her heart took off like a deer after a shotgun blast. She peered at the shower door, seeing only a shadowy figure through the opaque glass. Well thank, God, for that. He couldn't see her either.
"Hello? Are you there, Ash?" The amusement in his tone brought her back to earth.
"Yeah, I'm here. And just who the hell are you?"
"I'm Hunter Hopewell. Sorry we didn't really get introduced the other night."
"No shit." Damn. The all-important name meant nothing. The spray from the shower roared in her ears and Ashley took a step toward the shower door.
"So who are you? I mean, you say Hunter Hopewell, but I don't know you. And you know me."
"Yes, I do. I've never met you, but I've been interested in you for a while now."
Despite the hot water, chills raced over her body, standing her hair on end. Oh, my God. A stalker. I've attracted a stalker. And I'm shut in a bathroom with him. Suddenly, she couldn't breathe.
"You work over in English at the university." He knew where she worked. "And I've seen you around the campus." He'd been watching her.
She wrapped her arms around her chest, shielding her body as best she could. Maybe Sam would come in.
"You're a beautiful girl, Ashley. With lots of potential."
Potential for what? Needing to breathe or pass out, she gasped in air.
"I think you should leave." Where the balls came from to utter that sentence, she had no idea.
"Why?" His voice rose an octave.
"Because you're scaring the crap out of me."

Hop over to amazon right now to get your own copy and be seduced!!

Readers, leave a comment and you’ll have a chance to win your very own copy of 7 Days of Seduction!